Diversity can be defined as differences that exist among individuals. The differences may be brought about by age, race, as well as gender. When diversity is mentioned, individuals will majorly cover these issues.
However, very little attention is usually given to diversity’s secondary dimensions like religious beliefs, communication style, relationship status, ethnic customs, as well as general appearance. All these differences are entailed in cultural diversity (Anca and Vazquez 2007). For a very long time, cultural diversity has been a very significant reliance within the hospitality industry.
It should also be noted that globalization has made a number of hospitality companies to come up with corporate strategic plans. A number of minority workers as well as migrant labors are entering UK’s hospitality industry presently, therefore making the companies to face multicultural challenges (Pfeffer 1994).
It should be noted that both management as well as workers within UK’s hospitality industry have diverse national as well as cultural backgrounds (Constantine1995; Littlejohn and Watson 2004).
Management of cultural diversity can be done through effective and efficient communication or creation of awareness among the workers concerning the diverse background of their fellow workers. It can also be done through cultivating an environment where the success of all workers are acknowledged, supported and also encouraged.
It can also be done through connecting diversity to all organizational processes as well as strategies like employee development, succession planning, performance management as well as reengineering (Avgerou 2002).
Workforce diversity has widely been talked about by individuals. It includes elements like gender, age, religion among other elements. Nevertheless, very little attention is usually given to the numerous issues that concerns cultural diversity, majorly issues related to migration of labor.
Given that numerous minority groups will always move into the UK’s hospitality industry, the management of cultural diversity has become a very big challenge within the hospitality industry, majorly to the Human Resource managers (Carmel 1999).
How diversity can contribute to competitive advantage
Reduction of conflicts
There are indeed a number of benefits that are brought about by proper management of cultural diversity. First, it brings about reduction in conflicts among employees. It should be noted that improper management of diversity may result into intercultural conflicts (Holaday, 2007). Conflicts may be brought about by different ideas or beliefs.
These may result into hurt feelings, increased tension and to extreme extents, it may result into violence. When understanding is promoted, respect encouraged and an atmosphere of acceptance is created, conflict can be reduced. All these are brought about by effective diversity management.
When cultural diversity is fostered, there will be a drastic reduction in conflict and besides, there will be an improvement in workplace morale. This will contribute to the performance of workers (Chavan 2005, p. 50).
Management of cultural diversity will also result into increased productivity. Despite the fact that cultural diversity may cause tension, it can also strengthen an organization’s productivity. When an organization embraces and also encourages diversity, the organization will have an environment where employees learn the differences that exist between them.
They will discover different ways of looking at problems besides finding solutions for the problems. When organizations respect cultural differences, creativity and innovation will be enhanced. Better ways will always be invented to solve problems. This will improve the productivity of the given organization.
New Business can also be brought about by cultural diversity management. The promotion of cultural diversity will make companies to attract new customers as they retain the existing customers. It will also make them to identify and also to invent new markets.
Besides, they will invent new products in order to benefit from the opportunities, which are not available to companies that are not culturally diverse. This places organizations far above other organizations.
Talent attraction and retention
Cultural diversity management also results into talent attraction. As the UK workforce gets culturally diverse, organizations, which vigorously promote diversity and encourage an environment of inclusion, are always positioned well to favorably compete with other organizations for employees who are highly skilled and also talents that are highly sought-after by other organizations.
Therefore, cultural diversity management will have competitive advantages over others (Scott and Revis 2008, p 780).
It should also be noted that an organization that manages cultural diversity will be adaptable and flexible to changes within the environment. An organization that changes with environment will always succeed. Similarly, effective management of culture diversity has cost effective and efficient competitive edges.
This is brought about by a reduction in the costs of labor. It therefore makes organizations to cut on costs.
Cultural diversity and competitive advantage
A culturally diverse workforce usually performs better under certain conditions. For cultural synergy to be achieved, groups should respect and also share experiences. They should also be willing to listen to other individuals’ experiences. Carrithers (1992) is of the argument that diversity is capable of promoting innovation as well as new opinions. It however, destroys cultural identities among employees (Wildes 2008, p 68).
A number of successful companies usually seek to protect their diversity advantage through the creation of organizational environments that attracts diverse labor markets (Chavan 2005, p 40). They also protect their diversity advantage through responding to the diverse social as well as demographic patterns.
Companies are capable of achieving this via effective as well as efficient employee management strategies. The strategies are capable of enabling the firms to attract workers, develop the workers who have been attracted and also to retain their workforce.
Cultural diversity can also bring creative inputs, new ideas as well as innovative thinking to organizations. A number of organizations have a strong belief that diverse workforce brings about several competitive advantages.
Workers are always faced with different cultures, different characters, languages as well as religions. Hence, organizations should also be multicultural.
A number of organizations employ diversity management. As earlier noted, diversity management refers to the capacity and proficiency to merge the diversities among workers together with their similarities in an effective and successful way.
When individuals are managed efficiently and effectively, positive contributions will be made to the organization. On the other hand, when they are managed poorly, they will probably resist change.
When this happens, there will be low productivity and as a result, work of relatively poor quality will be produced. This will make the needs of the customers not to be satisfied (Earley & Gibson 2002).
Given that there are numerous benefits of diversity; managers should be responsible for diagnosing and also creating system interventions which support gender, anti- racist, fairness, as well as a working environment that is multicultural (Lacity & Willcocks 2001).
In summary of this chapter, there are numerous ways through which diversity management may result into competitive advantages for organizations. Cultural diversity management results into improved interactions and relationships between workers. Similarly, it results into improved morale as well as productivity. Diversity management also improves retention as well as development of workers.
Enhanced performance of the management team as well as team functions is also brought about by diversity management. This will significantly contribute to organizational performance (Johnson & Packe 1987).
It should also be noted that improved acquisition as well as improved human resource administration are also brought about by diversity management. This is also very vital for organizations performance, majorly within the hospitality sector.
A culturally diverse organization will be flexible enough to respond to changes within the market. This also has numerous advantages to the organization.
The management of cultural diversity also improves solution of problems and also decision making. It also ensures that there is a variety of skills as well as perspectives. This is beneficial to organizations. As earlier noted, cultural diversity management also results into enhanced creativity as well as innovation.
Besides the above advantages, there are several other benefits that are brought about by cultural diversity management like improved access as well as equity in service provision, majorly in the hospitality sector. It also ensures that there is minimized harassment and discrimination. Besides, grievances, conflict as well as complaints are minimized. It should be noted that all these are very important for hospitality organizations.
When there is diversity management within hospitality organizations, there will be improved diversity in teams as well as the leadership of the organization. Employees are usually very happy and besides, they are not stressed. Their productivity will thus be improved and therefore, the overall productivity of the organization will also improve. Cultural diversity management also results into a reduction in staff turnover.
The image of the organization will also be improved, when this happens, more customers will buy from the organization and therefore, its productivity will improve. Among the employees, absenteeism will be reduced. This will improve the productivity of the workers and therefore of the organization in general. Lower costs are also associated with cultural diversity management within the hospitality industry.
There are more benefits that are brought about by cultural diversity management. It should also be noted that effective and efficient communications as well as marketing are also brought about by cultural diversity management. As mentioned earlier, it results into enhanced customer satisfaction as well as increased referrals.
To be successful in managing cultural diversity within an organization, a manager has to get the best out of their employees. Individual and organizational success increasingly depends on the ability to work effectively with others.
Challenges brought about by Cultural diversity
Besides the numerous advantages that are brought about by cultural diversity, there are some few disadvantages. For instance, when an individual moves to other countries to get jobs, the individuals adopt foreign cultures. They will adopt new ideas, beliefs, as well as new values.
In numerous firms, workers from different cultures as well as countries usually suffer from nervousness, seclusion, as well as performance deficit. Hence, these companies are forced to make sure that the employees are well trained to make the organizations gain competitive advantages.
It should also be noted that diversity usually causes tension among workers. Besides, it causes very less accuracy among workers. Groups also lack cohesion. Culturally diverse groups are less effective and efficient due to these factors. To some extent, they are less productive.
The negative impacts of cultural differences should not be hazardous; however, organizations should treat them as benefits as well as opportunities when there is effective and efficient management.
Numerous firms usually try to elude cultural disagreements among the workers by inventing organizational culture as well as corporate culture. When an organizational culture is very strong, the organization will greatly achieve competitive advantages.
The report establishes that there are numerous benefits that are associated with the management of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity ought to be taken as a great tool for the progress of organizations rather than being treated as an administrative problem. When there is effective and efficient management of diverse workforce, organizations will achieve competitive edge besides becoming successful.
The paper has established that the benefits of cultural diversity management are reduced labor costs, turnover, recruitment, as well as training. Cultural diversity management also ensures that employees are attracted and also retained. It also ensures that there is enhanced understanding of the needs and requirements of the customer.
Besides, cultural diversity management improves the relations among the workers. It also results into enhanced customer service. The public images of organizations are also enhanced by cultural diversity management. Creativity and innovation are also enhanced. All these generally results into improved productivity.
The paper establishes that the benefits of managing cultural diversity are so many. When it is well managed, it is capable of making organizations to gain competitive advantages over their competitors, majorly to the firms within the hospitality industry.
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